View Full Version : Outdoor vs Indoor

Goon Jhuen Weng
13th November 2000, 05:58
Recently, I had an interesting Iai training session in which we all went outdoors to train and do the standing techniques. It was completely different from the nice, indoor setting of the dojo. A small gentle slope completely threw my drawing and cutting actions way off and we also had to contend with flies buzzing around us and the sun in our eyes. It was an excellent experience though as it gave an insight as to how actual fighting conditions must have been like. I was wondering if anybody out there practising Iai had also experience outdoor training and how he or she dealt with the physical conditions surrounding it.

13th November 2000, 16:59
Goon Jhuen Weng,

I recently had two outdoor training sessions that left me wondering about our near perfect dojo training environment. The first was in a pea gravel courtyard. The lack of solid footing made any quick movement very difficult. I had to constantly adjust my movement because of the lack of traction and tendency to dig your feet into the surface. The second was in a parking lot. A large pothole seems to constantly materialize in my path. That simple hazard would have made a huge difference in a real fight.

I was also caught off guard by what happened at a recent indoor cutting demonstration. When I turned to the first of two targets, I found myself staring directly into a 3000-watt stage light. The light was about six feet in front of my face. I knew where the targets were, but I had to finish the demo without being able to see them. It reminded me of a class years ago when we had to perform kata blind-folded.

Nathan Scott
13th November 2000, 19:55

I'm a big fan of training outside on different terrains, different times of day/night, and different weather conditions. This should obviously be done carefully, and under the guidance of a qualified instructor, but I have found it to be very enlightening.

Most people try to replicate their forms as comfortably as possible, in spite of the terrain and conditions. But one thing that is interesting is to focus on using the terrain and conditions to your advantage if possible. If done correctly, the opponent does not notice the tactic very much, but will sometimes comment on the difficulties they had with the conditions (that I actually magnified, unknown to them!).

PS. you might consider limiting yourself to wooden buki only, and slow things down a bit for reasons of safety.

Good experience - kiotsukete kudasai,

Hans Andersen
14th November 2000, 00:09
A book that I have ("This Is Kendo" by Junzo Sasamori and Gordon Warner) has a photo captioned "University kendo team at training session on the beach". It looks like at least some of the participants are wearing sandals.

Has anyone out there tried Kendo on a non-ideal surface such as sand? I'm trying to think how the sliding kendo step would have to be adapted to work with a soft and uneven surface.

Tony Peters
14th November 2000, 02:18
After a year of indoor Iaido with one sensei and 10 months of outdoor Jodo with another sensei my Jodo sensei decided that we (the Class) needed so real sword training(I'm the only other one who does Iaido) so he began a short TSKSR Iai session before our SMR Jodo class just to bring us all up to snuff in our sword capabilities. There are more real swords than iaito 2>1 (mine is the Iaito) which has me spooked but everyone else is fine by it (even my wife who really likes the sword now... great...now she want's her own). After a lot of outdoor Jo I thought it would be easy, but it wasn't...the postures for iaido aren't as relaxed and my bad habit of dragging my feet threatened to put me flat on my face. All things considered it was an eye opening experience....one that will improve my iaido.

16th November 2000, 02:27
since our Ryu is not like others in the sense that you go and pay a fee for the sensei to teach you, my Sensei accepts students based on their personality and an individual as a whole, much like the Yanagi Ryu. There about 20 poeple who train in our style around the world. Because of this we have no dojo. We practice outdoors everyday in a park, rain or shine. As my Sensei says, "Battles were not fought on smooth, flat floors....they have varied terrain, rocks, holes, gravel, any number of obsticles that the bushi had to adapt to and use those to your advantage."

Brian James